August 26th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Already boasting, Republicans predict huge gains in November

Washington (CNN) – A top House Republican boasted Thursday that Republicans are already positioned to take control of the House, and argued the Democrats' political position will only worsen as Election Day approaches.

California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the top recruiter of GOP candidates and chief Republican Whip in the House, told reporters on a conference there are "more than enough seats" to win, and added, "I think the map is getting bigger by the day."

McCarthy, who has traveled to more than 50 districts so far during the August recess, said the economy and the President's poll numbers are dragging down Democrats' chances of keeping their majority. On President Obama, the GOP leader predicted, "I think his approval rating will be even lower" by November and said the overall size of the political playing field will expand as a result.

McCarthy said over 80 House seats are now in play, noting that is more than twice the number Republicans need to take the majority. Ticking through many of the competitive races across the country, McCarthy predicted even more seats currently leaning Democratic –like Rep David Wu's in Oregon and Rep Carolyn McCarthy's in New York - will begin shifting toward the Republican column.

McCarthy maintained there is a "panic mode inside the Democratic party from the Democrats themselves" and said party leaders would soon have to make tough choices about which candidates deserved resources and who would be cut off.

He pointed to Florida Blue Dog Democrat Allen Boyd, who narrowly held off a primary challenger on Tuesday, as someone who is "pretty much in essence gone." The California Republican also said that GOP fundraising is on the up tick - closing what was a 6-1 money gap between Democrats and Republicans to closer to 2 -1.

Another top House Republican, GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Pennsylvania, touted the more than 500 events he said Republicans have held so far over the recess in a call with reporters Thursday. He and other Republicans point out that the intensity of voters is driven by economic anxiety.

"Everywhere I go its about jobs and spending, it's about the fact that economic policies of this administration have failed and the American people are looking for a new approach that will bring certainty," Pence said.

Democrats dismissed GOP assessments about the midterms, arguing it was just a case of Republicans prematurely "measuring the drapes" before Election Day.

Ryan Rudominer, spokesman for the House Democratic campaign arm, shot back, "In Kevin McCarthy-land every seat in Congress is in play." He said that some of the so-called "Young Gun" candidates who were hand picked by McCarthy and other GOP leaders are not as strong as they are billed to be. One example is David Rivera, the Republican candidate who just won his primary for an open seat in South Florida.

Rivera has denied allegations made by his political opponents about domestic violence – an allegation Rivera says stems from a case of mistaken identity – and he has had to answer questions about his involvement in a traffic incident with postal truck carrying campaign literature in 2002.

"With all the bluster and all the promises the NRCC has made, the bottom line is that they now face some tough decisions about which of their seriously flawed candidates with anemic fundraising have disqualified themselves as viable candidates and have to be abandoned," Rudominer said.

On Friday, Democratic Campaign Chairman Chris Van Hollen will lay out the Democratic fall plan of attack at a press conference, including a major grassroots push planned for this Saturday. House Democrats are shooting for their supporters knock on over 200,000 doors nationwide.

While Republicans repeat the mantra that the ailing economy will drive voters to make the midterms a "change" election, they remain vague about any detailed proposals they will unveil this fall to turn the jobs picture around.

McCarthy, who has been heading up an online listening project for Republicans to draft their policy agenda, will only say that will include a "fundamental government reform package" and will come out sometime next month. Both McCarthy and Pence pointed to the economic speech by House Republican Leader John Boehner on Tuesday as an indication of what types of policies they will espouse in the final weeks before the election. But beyond calling for the resignations of top Obama economic advisors, Boehner's speech gave little in the way of specific proposals.

Follow Deirdre Walsh on Twitter - @deirdrewalshcnn

Filed under: 2010 • GOP • House Republicans • Kevin McCarthy • Republican Party
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Brad

    This is hilarious. People are going to vote republican because of the economy? The economy??? You have to be kidding me. They are the ones that got us into this mess in the first place. Now that we are making actual progress, people are going to put the people whose policies failed back in there? I really hope the American people are smarter than that.

    August 26, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Brad the Inhaler

    They said they would win the presidency too. Baghdad Bob had more credibility than these clowns.

    August 26, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. FloridaVoter

    Republicans will not control the House or the Senate this fall. In FL the Repukes nominated Rick Scott. He spent $50 milllion of his own money to buy the nomination and he will continue his free spending ways in order to buy the Governor's mansion. But he will fail and the Dems will win the Governnorship. He's an incompetent nutjob that oversaw the largest healthcare fraud tha resulted in a $1.7 billion fine. As long as the Repukes continue to let the radical right wing run the party and continue to nominate people that bring the crazy to the party they will not prevail in November or 2012.

    August 26, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. Marie

    You know what they say about "Counting your chickens before they hatch." I hope this is true in this case.

    August 26, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Shari from Madison WI

    I fear they may be right. I dread the day that Repugnant Republican's take over again. It makes me sick to think about it. I realize that President Obama promised too much, but the Repub's did the same thing when they were in power, except that their promises led to the rich getting richer and everyone else getting poorer and their policies led to the economic disaster we are now in.

    August 26, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. Steve

    Yeah... And Turdblossom predicted big wins, too. How'd THAT turn out?

    August 26, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. John Black Hills/SD

    The republicans might make gains, if I were to vote red, it would have to be for a moderate representatives. Hard core conservatives and liberals are a freak-show. A moderate on both sides wins my ear.

    August 26, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. Ben

    3 months is a lifetime in politics, so it's definately hard to call anything yet, plus the Republicans are having a mild identity crisis this year, with the very right wing side pushing through candidates that very well may be hard to sell to middle America. People like to believe that everyone agrees with them, that the other side wins because of hijinks and fraud, but the fact is, people win by gaining the middle ground. For all we know the Obama administration could make a huge gaff that makes these predictions true, but Boehner could make just as big a gaff, and when it comes to saying things that anger moderates, the Tea Party seems like the most likely to make such a blunder.

    I will fully admit that the republicans have the momentum on there side, but this momentum is based on the anger of a number of people who's views are very out of the mainstream, and it only takes a couple of high profile gaffs on the right to re-energize the currently apathetic left. Right now the smart money is on some republican gain, but odds change every day.

    August 26, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. No Way Joe

    It's the economy STUPID.

    August 26, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. Mike in MN

    The simple truth is independents have rejected the big government, out of control spending, massive defict and fiscally irresponsible agenda of Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Independent voters will team with Republicans to restore the House and perhaps the Senate to Republicans to block the Obama agenda. And from there the hope is one of the two parties will demonstrate they are listening to the American people. So far that leans towards the Republicans who have been voting no on all the big bills that the Democrats have been writing and voting yes on but a majority of Americans don't want. Don't look for Obama to move to the right and listen to the American people. He hates America as it is and wants to transfrom into his socialist utopia. He pretended to be a centerist in 2008 to win. He is far far from one in reality. His shot is over and he will make a fool of himself between now and 2012 electon.

    August 26, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. andy

    Yeah, yeah, keep counting seats...ignorance is bliss.
    Has anyone noticed in the comments here on CNN that there are a lot of self-identified "former republicans". I have not seen a single comment from a "former democrat".

    August 26, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |

    I wouldn't get to settled in on thinking you're going to take over. When people say they think congress is broken, they are talking about the GOP who has voted no on every bill that would help Americans. The GOP of course thinks it's aimed at the democrats, but they are in for a big big November surprise, something the polls are not picking up because they are asking the wrong questions.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    August 26, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. James Druzak

    Sounds like you DEMs on this site are a little scared. Can't wait until November!!!

    August 26, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Marcus

    So's Joe Biden and pretty much everybody else (Republican, Democrat and Independent) that I hear about or know of...
    Let's face it.
    There will be 'easy' chairs and 'though' chairs to be achieved in November. Is it possible that the Republicans gain more chairs than they will lose? Perfectly possible. So it's the same for the Dems.

    August 26, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Yawn. Mike Tyson talked smack before he got knocked out by Buster Douglas too.

    August 26, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. gerry luimes

    Many years ago there was a general consensus that France was an ungovernable country due to its pernicious political infighting ;
    Today ,me thinks, we are in a position to say the very same about the Divided States of America.

    August 26, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    Republicans will make gains in November, but Republican victories will not solve our economic problems.
    Unfortunately, each party is right about some things and wrong about others.
    Republicans' greatest asset is capitalism. President Obama's greatest weakness is his conviction that very socialistic methods will solve economic problems, and keep him in office as well.
    I don't think that productivity, and then jobs, can result from the President's economic daydreams.

    August 26, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Republican leadership in The House and The Senate will be the best thing that can happen for Americans and our country. Irresponsible politicking is all Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have delivered. They obviously didn't care about Americans or our future.

    August 26, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. Chris - Denver

    Why in the name of all that is holy would anyone dream that voting Republican would help anything? Have we not learned from our past mistakes?

    August 26, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Gobama!

    Gee, it's easy to see why the President's approval is low when the GOP spreads lies about him being a muslim from kenya! If Americans knew the truth the president and the democrats would only gain come november....I guess we will see if ignorance will prevail.

    August 26, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  21. aliou in Jacksonville, FL

    Dream on, but the morrons in the tea party and their similar in the republican party think we have forgotten what got us in this mess in the first place: Republicans opened the treasury to the war industry and their accomplices in the banking and wall street.

    Then when the going got though, they ran to china and india.
    Now we know that not everyone who has a ribbon on their car "support the troops" is a nationalist.
    Money has not suddenly disapeared from the economy. The rich (Most of them GOP) have pulled the plug when they lost power .

    They knew they would lose power when they elected a Bush and cheney to the white house.

    August 26, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. faux news lamebrain

    AND>>>>>> What has the GOP done lately??...Obstruct!!.....nice platform.......let's see give the folks who made this mess the chance to do it again......we should be dipped in s- if that happens

    August 26, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. hobart

    It's pretty amazing what authoritarian lying hate speech can accomplish with so many billionaires willing to fund it, with one television station willing to broadcast it 247/365, and with a Supreme Court willing to give the wealthiest amongst us the only voice in politics.

    Unless Democrats fight fire with fire, we're poised to become the next Nazi dictatorship.

    August 26, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. un-sung, bernardsville, nj

    Never will the smart, informed AMERICANS fall for that damn "R" trickery again!!!!

    They've squandered away enough of our time, money and life for the last 2 years.

    NO MORE KEYS OR DRAPES FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 26, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Toughlove

    Conservative economics are not a Democratic platform. That's a big reason why the economy is what it is. Bush acted like a fiscal democrat. Obama is at least ten x worse. Americans know we need to change course and fast!!!

    August 26, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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